Sail Away With Sherpa

12 June 2012 | Marina Taina
11 June 2012 | Marina Taina
10 June 2012 | Marina Taina
08 June 2012 | Marina Taina
07 June 2012 | Marina Taina
06 June 2012 | Yacht Quay to Marina Taina
04 June 2012 | Yacht Quay, Papeete, Tahiti
04 June 2012 | Yacht Quay, Papeete, Tahiti
03 June 2012 | Yacht Quay, Papeete, Tahiti
02 June 2012 | Underway, Fakarava to Tahiti
01 June 2012 | Underway, Fakarava to Tahiti
31 May 2012 | Underway, Fakarava to Tahiti
30 May 2012 | At anchor, Fakarava, Tuomotus
29 May 2012 | At anchor, Fakarava, Tuomotus
29 May 2012 | At anchor, Fakarava, Tuomotus
28 May 2012 | Overnight Sail, Kauehi to Fakarava, Tuomotus
26 May 2012 | At Anchor, Kauehi, Tuomotus
22 May 2012 | Underway-Nuku Hiva to Kauehi, Tuomotus
19 May 2012 | At Anchor Daniels Bay, Nuku Hiva

First mate arrives tomorrow

12 June 2012 | Marina Taina
John
Jonathan must be on a plane now. Can't wait for his arrival, as well as his chaperones, my parents, who will spend a week down here as well. They are staying over at the Manave Suites, which is about a 20 minute walk from the marina, so I decide to go check it out. It is a really nice hotel, all suites. I guess it has been recently refurbished. It didn't look very busy, but the season is not quite here yet, a couple of more weeks, and the schools will be all out and the tourists will arrive.

They have a nice dock right on the lagoon, which I can tie my dinghy to. This should make it convenient to come back in forth while they are here, as well as mooch a "real" shower from them each day. There is internet access there, so I also am able to Skype while I check out the place.

That evening I meet another cruiser, an Irishman named David, who is cruising to Tonga, along with his wife, and 2 young children. He has a 58 foot yacht, which also has a full-time first-mate, as well as a nanny for the kids. We tilt a few pints and he shows me some anchorages that he thinks Jonathan and I would enjoy and are safe. We agree we will meet up again to tilt another pint or two.

Shipshape again--ready for next leg

11 June 2012 | Marina Taina
John
Sherpa is pretty shipshape now, so I can do a bit more exploring. In addition to the 24 hour market, there is a Carrefour, the large French supermarket chain, just down the way within walking distance. This is like a Walmart/Target/Safeway all combined. If they don't have it, then it probalby doesn't exist on the island. I see locals coming out with full frozen pigs, they must be doing a luau. There are restaurants and other boutiques there as well. Now I know why all the cruisers come to Taina to re-provision, like going to Costco, but twice the price.

The locals are definitely not as open and friendly as in the other islands, but still, a smile always seems to go a long ways. I meet a gentlemen at the bar, who is french, and has lived here for 30 years. He said it has changed, but still enjoys it. He gave me his number and invited he and Jonathan over to to meet his wiife if we can make. We'll see. I also met a french couple who live here as well, Jacque is 75 and is in excellent shape, he says he swims or rows everyday. He was a sculptor in France, and taught it as well. He tried to get me to join him for a game of chess, but the way he was disposing his opponents, I realized I would be no match for him. He was was young in body, mind and spirit.

The happy hour gets a bit more lively, as more cruisers arrive. After happy hour, we all move the party to Obelisk from Newport News Virginia, a Skye 51, captained by a 30 year old, who has just come up from Cape Horn with his father. We had seen them in Nuku Hiva, but had yet to meet them until now. Ahh to be young!

Meeting people in far away places

10 June 2012 | Marina Taina
John
During my daily walk of the docks, who do I see, the boat Mahina Tiare III. This is the boat owned by John and Amanda Neal, who between them have logged over 500k miles on the ocean showing paying crew how to make blue water passages. They teach everything from seamanship, navigation, storm avoidance to heavy weather sailing. Amanda sticks her head out of the companionway and greets me. We chat for a bit, they have just dropped off there crew after a trip from New Zealand, and are expecting new ones this evening, and then off on another leg.

Amanda shares with me some ideas about the passage from here to Hawaii should I decide to take that route at the end of the season. John is below decks fixing a through-hull, but comes up to say hi. I invite them to stop by Sherpa, as htey say they have neverbeen on a Tartan 37 before, but may not be able to as they are racing to get their boat in shape for their departure tomorrow.

Papeete is really the "Crossroads of the South Pacific". Lots of fun meeting new boats and making new friends!

They have laundry machines here, yea, well.......

09 June 2012 | Marina Taina
John
Laundry day. Within the marina there is a laundrimat, though I never thought I'd pay about $10 a load just for the washing machine, another $5 for the dryer, but this is probably the last place where this will be available, so off I go bags of laundry in hand. All works fine, after about $50 we are done.

I run into crews from boats we met in the Marquesas and the Tuomotus, as well as make new friends from boats that have just arrived. Everybody has the same objective, though I'm probably one of the few that may only do a season. Most have sold everything and have been out for years, or plan to be. A real melting pot of cruisers, young and old, families and single handers, all doing the laundry dance and getting there boats back in shape for the next leg.

Home Alone

08 June 2012 | Marina Taina
John
Home Alone! Well, Boat Alone, I guess. Just me and Sherpa now. I have a few days to get the boat cleaned up in preparation for the next leg of the cruise. Sherpa really has taken good care of us, so the first thing she gets is a reall bath, with running fresh water. Clean out that reefer and take care of the laundry.

The marina is pretty full, as most boats are doing what I'm doing, getting there boats back in shape, as there won't be services like this agian until you get to New Zealand or Australia. There is a small Chandlery close by, as well as a fuel dock and a 24 hour supermarche, all within walking distance. There is even a McDonalds for a stateside fix of a Cheeseburger in Paradise.

Final crew member departs

07 June 2012 | Marina Taina
John
Now it is just Paul and I, but Paul's flight is this evening, and would still like to get Sherpa in the Marina in order to get her provisioned and take care of a few boat projects at a dock. As luck would have it, the marina could accommodate us right now. So off we head back to the boat to get the anchor up and motor in. The marina is full of mega yachts, there is even one w/ a helicopter on it, it is rumored to be some high up person at Google, maybe Sergie himself. They run a real first class operation, a skiff meets us w/ a diver, which we wouldn't need more for the mega yachts. We follow them into the "tight" channel and get Sherpa side tied to the dock right in front of Casa Bianca--Perfect.

Paul has the late evening flight as well, but luckily we can just walk over to the restaurant instead of the wet ride Pete had. We enjoy a nice dinner there, food is delicious--pizza again! We toast a successful trip and now it is just me, waiting for my new crew to arrive, my 10 year-old son, Jonathan.

People hear about horror stories between skippers and crew, but not this group. We had a wonderful trip in which I think everybody thoroughly enjoyed themselves. I give a big thanks to both Pete and Paul for making the first part of my cruise very special memorable, and look forward to meeting my crew and new friends both again soon!
Vessel Name: Sherpa
Vessel Make/Model: Tartan 37
Hailing Port: Santa Barbara
Crew: John, Christina, Jonathan, Pete, Paul and other adventurers
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/t37sherpa/
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Getting Lost by Finding Paradise

Who: John, Christina, Jonathan, Pete, Paul and other adventurers
Port: Santa Barbara